Swimming with Sharks at Compass Cay Marina

After hitting the world’s most amazing sandbar, the next stop on our Exuma all-day-action tour was Compass Cay. We could barely hold ourselves back from jumping off the boat when it approached the docks. In fact, we didn’t even dock, we just sort of coasted up onto the beach, and everyone jumped off the boat and started the super short treck around the docks to see and swim with the sharks. It cost us $10 per person just to jump ashore, and I was Ok with that, because the folks that managed the marina were basically letting us swim with their pet sharks for free. The marina was decent, with a little restaurant and bar as well, and plenty of dock space to accommodate visitors for short or long term stays. I was happy to contribute to the maintenance of this pristine place.

So we gave our cash to the captain who gave it to the dock master, grabbed our masks and snorkels, and made our way. There was a small group of people swimming in the central dock area, and initially I didn’t really see any sharks. But that quickly changed – and it seems like the more that people went into the water, the more sharks showed up to play. These were domesticated nurse sharks, who were well accustomed to people and the snacks they brought. These sharks even had names! Like Herman, Woody, Hook, Lefty, Squirt and Scar. There were little guys and there were a few that were at least 7 feet long – definitely bigger than any one of us.

I hesitated at first – had that fleeting moment you have when you know something should be completely safe, but then you could be THAT one. The person that got bit by the friendly but confused shark. Bah, I jumped in. I couldn’t come all the way out to the remote Exumas and not swim with the sharks. I know I wasn’t the only one that felt that way either – there was a kid that was practically standing on his dad’s head – he was so excited, but a little scared at the same time. But the sharks were all very friendly. They surrounded me on all sides, and several bumped up against me – behind me when I wasn’t looking and swimming back and forth in front of me. They were even literally swimming on top of each other, like one big friendly swimming shark family. I reached out to touch one, and it felt really weird! It’s skin was like rubbery, wet sandpaper.

Tristan and the boys had a great time swimming around the crystal clear marina waters with the sharks.

Arriving to Compass Cay MarinaOn Compass Cay Marina DocksSwimming with Sharks at Compass Cay MarinaSwimming with a family of sharks in ExumaThe sharks in Exuma had names like Squirttouching sharks at compass cayup close with sharks at compass cay marina bahamas


Written by Suzi Albrecht
Digital Project Manager and Traveler